On Friday night, Jim and I met up with some friends and headed out to dinner at newly opened Emmer & Rye. Emmer & Rye is Chef Seth Caswell’s latest venture. Formerly the chef at Stumbling Goat Bistro in Greenwood, Chef Caswell opened Emmer & Rye mid-April in a 100+ year old Victorian house at the top of Queen Anne. I chose it for our dinner outing for two reasons (1) a menu that is both interesting yet accessible even to my picky husband; and (2) the ingenious option Emmer & Rye gives you of being able to order appetizers in a “taste” or true “appetizer” size and entrees in 1/2 or full portions.
We started off the meal with a bottle of Mourvedre by McCrea Cellars and all three of the offered starters: the artisanal cheese plate, 5 cheeses ranging from a Mount Townsend creamy truffle enhanced goat to a dry cheddar to a blue served with delectable apricot-walnut bread and apple cherry conserves – shocking that I ordered cheese, I know 😉 – the special of the day, salmon tartare served with toast points and an arugula, radish salad; and the will be famous any day if they are not already Farro fries with a sage-yoghurt sauce (there were five substantial fries, but we dove in before I remembered to whip out the iPhone):
Starters were followed by appetizers. I opted for a “taste” of the shucked oysters, which means I received three fresh-from-the-sea oysters topped with bacon and a smoked porter mignonette – seriously, this is how oysters should be always. Our friends opted to share an appetizer portion of the seared tuna with beets and sunchokes and declared it a winner. Jim went for the grilled sausage, rapini, crostini and salsa verde. While Jim opted to deconstruct his appetizer, I really liked the way the flavors played off each other when eaten open sandwich style.
For our entrees, I opted for a 1/2 portion of the scallops with rapini and shrimp and pork farro cake. The scallops were perfectly seared, the broccolini was crispy and the faro cake was spicy, satisfying all of my taste desires. It also was a perfectly proportioned plate per my nutritionist’s standards – something I never thought would happen at a restaurant with a non-vegetarian entree.
Jim opted for the grass-fed beef bolognese and all I can after sampling a bite (or 2) is oh my, yum!
We ended the meal with unpictured Rhubarb semifredo and cheesecake with huckleberry sauce. The semifredo was unfortunately frozen and the rhubarb was a bit too subtle for my taste but the cheesecake was incredible and I am not a cheesecake fan. It was more savory than traditional cheesecake, lighter, more sour creamy, delicious. I will definitely be ordering that cheesecake again.
Overall, we rate Emmer & Rye a find and will definitely be going back again, and again, and again. With a good wine list, interesting and delicious food and the option to eat “light” what’s not to like?